Case Study: Industrial Tank Painting and Coatings – Circle K Field Terminal

Circle K is an international convenience store chain owned by Alimentation Couche-Tard, a Canadian multinational corporation. Since its founding in 1951, Circle K has become the largest publicly owned convenience store chain in the U.S. with almost 10,000 stores in North America–primarily in the United States and Canada), around 2,700 stores in Europe, and an additional 2,300 licensed or joint venture stores that operate under franchise agreements. The company experienced rapid growth during the 1980s and 1990s and annual sales increased from $747 million to over $3 billion. Arizona’s Grand Canyon region is Circle K’s largest and serves several Western and Southwestern states.

The Situation

In 2021, the Circle K management team decided to add a new tank to its field terminal in Phoenix, AZ and contracted with Burns & McDonnell to design and build the tank. Burns & McDonnell is a Kansas City-based environmental engineering and construction firm with a Phoenix presence.

The tank had to be able to withstand constant exposure to fuel and corrosive products. Therefore, Burns & McDonnell knew it was necessary to sub-contract the tank painting work to a company that specialized in industrial painting and coating work.

The project was also high-risk because the inside tank lining had to be treated in a confined space. This meant the crew that performed the work needed to know how to work in confined spaces or undergo training and be knowledgeable about the proper use of protective equipment and breathing apparatuses.

They also had to be trained on the safe operation of sandblasting and media blasting equipment around flammable materials since a single spark could start a fire.

The Solution

Burns & McDonnell chose Ghaster Painting & Coatings to perform the work because of its extensive experience completing industrial painting and coating projects. Some examples include interior, exterior and tank painting work for Honeywell and painting interiors, exteriors and assembly line equipment for Coca-Cola.

The Burns & McDonnell project team was also impressed with Ghaster’s knowledge of sand and media blasting techniques required for industrial tank painting projects and their experience with industrial coating products such as 2-component epoxy primers and 2-component urethane finishes. Both ensure the integrity of the tank and inhibit deterioration over time.

The Results

The project was completed in June 2021. When the job was done, Ghaster and Circle K worked with a third-party inspector to ensure the sand and media blasting work was completed to the right level and coating was applied at the right mil thickness to comply with industry standards. This was also necessary to ensure the warranty was valid.

The standard warranty Ghaster provides ensures Circle K will not have to worry about rust, corrosion or deterioration on the tank for the next decade or more.

Circle K is happy with the results and plans to contract with Ghaster to perform sand and media blasting and coating work on several other tanks to bring them up to code.

Are you planning an industrial tank painting or coating project? Contact us to discuss your specific needs and request a bid.